Fine day though cloudy and warm. My Wife looked better than she has yet done. Her colour begins to revive. The child is well and hearty. I begin to realize a new state of feeling—One which will, I hope, turn my attention more to my duties as a man and a citizen. The continuance of the family in a male branch renders it more necessary for me not only to support myself by prudence but to guide to the utmost of my feeble abilities the course of the future successors. May God in his mercy look with favor upon my efforts.
I attended divine service all day. Heard Mr. Frothingham. John 7. 17. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.” Upon the liberty of construction often taken without proper attention to the obliga-181tions imposed by positive injunction. Matthew 6. 30. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” A beautiful text and a beautifully written discourse, upon the truth of the figure alluded to as well as the reliance upon Providence which it inculcates. For myself I become every day more and more satisfied of the fact. In the storms as in the sunshine of life there is nothing for man to look to but the support of a divine being. I have sometimes thought Mr. Frothingham not willing to go far enough in this notion.
Read a Sermon of Massillon upon the choice of a Religious profession by a Nun. Text from Psalms 17. 17–20, or according to our version which is in many places differently divided from that of the Septuagint. 18. 16–19. “The Lord sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He brought me forth also into a large place, he delivered me because he delighted in me.” His division was threefold although he managed to accomplish but two parts of it. He considered her as obtaining the part of election and of preservation. She had been elected from the earliest time for heaven, and preserved from the dangers of the world. Her consecration, the third head, was omitted. I cannot adopt the idea of election, because it involves the monstrous extreme on the other side. Nor can I admit the duty of Monastic seclusion in any of God’s creatures. There is something fascinating in the idea but not consistent with the purposes of man so far as we understand them. Quiet evening.